Society celebrates, envies, and covets creative people. So many individuals wish they were more creative – but then shy away from risky ideas. How can we both desire to be more creative and then run from the creative process?
In the case of naming, sometimes creativity can cause you to fall flat on your face. Many creative ideas are extremely polarizing. For example, take 2 minutes to try naming a new kitchen ladle. Admittedly, names like “Super Scooper” or “Easy Lift” are either too cheesy or too vague, boring, or unrelated. But what about names like “PickMeUp,” “Souper Scooper,” or “Heavy Lifter?” They may not all work, but they’re definitely more creative and interesting than the humdrum alternatives.
Creativity requires a perspective of comfort towards the unknown. People who need the security of knowing that they have the correct answers or exactly how long their work will take may have a natural aversion to creativity.
Unknowns and vague approaches define the creative process. A unique spin, a suggestive name, those 80’s hip huggers – all are controversial. However, “different” is how sensations are born. Did Yo Yo Ma know that he was going to be a cello sensation when he picked up the instrument at age 4? Did many foresee the success of Facebook – who knew so many people would take a crazed interest in the minute-by-minute status of each other’s lives? (I thought it was ridiculous when I first started college!)
I saw a cooler in the grocery store yesterday and for the first time noticed the name – PlayMate. That’s a risky name! But it’s also memorable and fun. Taking a walk on the wild side may be fear-inspiring, but if we remember that we celebrate and desire creativity, we’ll realize that the walk is worth it.
Check out this video from TED where best-selling author Elizabeth Gilbert talks about creativity and managing the associated fear (her latest book is Eat, Pray, Love).